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Glaucoma FAQ

Provided By Your Local Manhattan Ophthalmologist

At the practice of Dr. Edwin M. Schottenstein, it’s our goal to provide you with the highest of quality when it comes to eye care. We’re proud to supply a variety of beneficial services, including cataract surgery, diabetic eye care, glaucoma treatment, and much more. As your trusted ophthalmologist in and around Chelsea, NYC, and the Upper West Side, we always want our patients to be fully-informed about their eye conditions so that they can make the best possible decisions about their health. One common eye disorder that we believe that all our patients should know about is glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for residents of the United States. This is a common eye disorder that happens to be not just one, but an entire group of disorders that shares a common label. This group of disorders damages the optic nerve that sends images from the eye to the brain. When glaucoma is treated early, loss of sight is preventable. Unfortunately, the early stages of glaucoma are unnoticeable, meaning that it’s important to visit your eye doctor for regular eye exams.

Some of the risk factors for developing glaucoma include:

  • Advanced age
  • Family history
  • African-American descent
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated ocular pressure
  • High degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Prolonged steroid use
  • Previous eye injuries
  • Central cornea thickness of less than .5 mm

Most tests that diagnose glaucoma are quick, painless, and noninvasive. A device that touches the eye is typically used for one of these tests, but it’s pain-free.

An acceptable eye pressure is considered to be the pressure that’s necessary to prevent glaucoma damage from progressing any further. Average intraocular pressure is 15 to 16 millimeters of mercury. However, it’s still possible to go throughout your entire life with eye pressure in the low 20’s and not experience any damage. At the same time, there are other instances where those with acceptable eye pressure still end up developing glaucoma.

A prescribed eye drop will be used to relieve some of the pressure on your eye. In order for it to maintain effectiveness, you’ll need to use these drops daily for the rest of your life. In some cases, multiple types of eye drops may be used at the same time. Unfortunately, these drops can occasionally cause some side effects, including headaches, asthma, a decreased libido, and negative effects on the heart.

If you experience harmful or unwanted side effects with one medication, it makes sense to try a different medication to see if the side effects go away. If you have questions about changing your medication, give our office a call. For the patients who are on many drops or don’t have an optimal response to their glaucoma medications, office laser treatment can be used to decrease the intraocular pressure, which will sometime eliminate the need for drops.

For patients who aren’t receiving optimal results from using multiple drops daily, we offer Laser Trabeculoplasty to reduce intraocular pressure.

Laser Trabeculoplasty is performed in our office. The procedure should only take about 25 minutes. Before it begins, you’ll be given eye drops that will numb your eye in preparation for our treatment. While the actual procedure will only take approximately 25 minutes, you should prepare to be in our office for around two hours so that we can discuss your treatment plan.

Medicare and most other private insurance carriers cover annual glaucoma screenings because of the importance of early detection. Also, Laser Trabeculoplasty is usually covered as a surgical procedure in order to assist with the control of glaucoma. We will work with you to ensure that their is as little out-of-pocket expense to you as possible.

Contact Your Upper West Side, Chelsea, and NYC Ophthalmologist!

If you’re looking for an eye doctor in New York City, please feel free to give us a call at (212) 874-2300. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form. We encourage you to let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We hope to hear from you soon!